January has always been a month that feels a little more sombre. Normally it’s the downtime after a busy holiday season. The days and nights seem colder and longer. Of course, this time around its doubled up with pandemic times and the stress of working from home and virtual learning. We’re all trying to stay afloat. We also know we need to pay more attention to ourselves and to those around us. The third Monday in the month is already named “Blue Monday” and self-care reminders are everywhere.

We turn to books, podcasts, shows and films to help us navigate through these days and nights. One that caught my attention is the all-Canadian line up of films in the Hot Docs Mental Health Film Series now streaming online from January 4 to 28, 2021. In partnership with Bell Let’s Talk and Workman Arts, the FREE to view series showcases documentaries and conversations about mental health and mental illness.

Here is what’s on the roster…

Connecting The Dots: Directed by Noemi Weis (Canada)

The first documentary of its kind, Connecting the Dots takes on the subject of mental health through the voices of young people around the world.

Rat Pack: Directed by Shawney Cohen (Canada)

Using a forgotten Canadian psychological experiment from the 1970’s involving rats and heroin, this conversation-worthy VICE doc examines the complex issue of addiction, revealing why the problem may not be about the drugs themselves, but the environments we live in.

The Worlds of Vincent (Les mondes du Vincent): Directed By Rozenn Potin (Canada)

This intimate documentary immerses you in the real and imagined worlds of Vincent, who, for 16 years now, has been living with schizophrenia. Filmmaker Rozenn Potin follows her charismatic sibling from his carefree childhood to his more complex present, brilliantly capturing the before and after of the illness of a loved one.

Talking About Youth and Mental Health (Free live panel discussion) January 28 at 8:00 pm EST

Today’s youth are facing unique and unprecedented challenges when it comes to their mental well-being. On Bell Let’s Talk Day, join us for a live panel discussion about the timely topic of youth mental health, featuring special guests and experts.

You can register to view for free here : www.hotdocscinema.ca




*photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash